Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered
A New Approach to the (Dis)unity of Science
University of Pittsburgh Press 2017
The idea that the sciences can’t be unified–that there will never be a single ‘theory of everything’–is the current orthodoxy in philosophy of science and in many sciences as well. But different versions of pluralism present very different views of what exactly they are pluralistic about, why sciences cannot be unified, and what the failure of unification entails about the world and about our knowledge of it. In Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered: A New Approach to the Dis(unity) of Science (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017), Stephanie Ruphy untangles and examines a number of different issues within the pluralist camp. Ruphy, who is professor of philosophy at Universite Grenoble-Alpes, argues for a “foliated pluralism” in ontology and for the relativity of knowledge claims and our representations of the world to historical features and epistemic interests. She also critically examines anti-reductionist arguments in terms of the generality of their conclusions and whether they support the inference from disunity to disorder.